In a dreadful rainy night, neighbourhood dogs barked inconsistently. I shrugged my fur, raised my stiffening neck and moved few inches to hear the groan of an old man. The fall from the cliff had him bedridden against the chronic liver cirrhosis which kept us away from guarding the field at nights. I left him in his hut in the evening and made a round in the field and noticed half the crops were lost to the wild animals. And more than guarding the crops I had to guard my foster father who was dying in pain.
Ten years ago when my mother and siblings left me, Ap Pema picked me up below the oak tree and took me to his home. He caressed me with his hand and fed me food. He was alone in his hut but from that day on I was his only son and a friend. I grew up strong in his hands, followed him in the jungles axing the trees, furrowing the fields and guarding the crops.
His solitary life was filled by cups of wine after the demise of his wife. He dropped the idea of constructing a new house and promised to die in the same hut where his beloved was snatched from him.
It was raining heavily with dogs still barking that night. “Katu” I heard him calling my name. I was about to hiss the sound when I saw a dark faceless figure hovering over the ground with shabby robed-like wings stretched to snatch the life of Pema. I bared my old weakening fangs, growled and barked. The dark figure fluttered the wings doubling the size covering the roof of hut. The faceless creature looked at me and gnarled its lengthy fangs with the ultrasonic sound piercing my ears. I lowered my body rubbing against the ground, moving back away from it and hid under the joists of wooden floor. The other dogs had stopped barking and above my head I heard the rattling sound, the whoosh of last breath and soon I saw Ap Pema crumbled under the creature’s wings. I came out of the hide and barked the last.
I rested my head on the paws and looked at the direction my master was driven away. The drops of rain started thinning the air and I closed my eyes. In a distance a glimmer of light was shown which slowly gave way to daylight. The woofing of puppies was heard milking from their mother. The dam rose from her puppies and came towards me sniffing my scent. We met our noses and before I realised she was my mother I already saw tears welled up in her eyes. “We have all waited for you” was all she said. And amidst the rays of light each of them vanished out of my sight leaving me alone one more time. I trampled a mile alone in the fields of flowers where bees were swarming in group with plenty of nectar to imbibe.
“Katu” I heard someone calling my name. I ran fast, passed an oak tree and saw my hut. Ap Pema was standing behind a woman. She was smiling at me and then I knew who she was. They looked very much young and happy. I looked at the sky which was casted with different shade of colours each displaying happiness of life. With no dark figure to visit us anymore, I barked several times in delight and joy.
Author: AB (a blogger on blogspot.com)